Marbella Approves New Town-Plan

July 30th, 2009

Marbella’s town council yesterday approved the final draft of a new town-plan that will put an end to more than a decade of town planning chaos that has weighed heavily on the local property market. The plan now goes to the regional government in Seville for final approval.

The new town-plan will replace the existing plan, approved in 1986, that was systematically abused over 15 years by a succession of corrupt mayors, resulting in 18,000 illegal properties in Marbella.

The new plan legalises 16,500 properties in return for compensating the town hall with land and payments to restore public spaces that were lost to private developments. Under the latest draft developers are the only ones on the hook, after Ángeles Muñoz, Marbella’s Mayor, fought to ensure that innocent third party buyers will not be liable for any compensation payments.

Despite macho talk and brinkmanship from the Mayor last week, the new plan will not save the most contentious illegal properties from demolition. Last week Ángeles Muñoz said she would extend the planning amnesty to 500 illegal but occupied properties, against the wishes of the government in Seville. But in the end the new plan she sent to the town council for approval did not offer a way out for the unfortunate owners of properties in the Banana Beach and Rio Real developments. In theory these properties will have to be demolished, along with 1,000 other properties that were built but never sold, as the new plan does not provide for any other solution.

The regional government in Seville is expected to nod through the new plan, which will them come into force. Marbella’s first town plan since 1986 can only be good news for the local property market.

Story by Mark Stucklin

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